Featured weekly article: The Role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Reducing Massive Human Rights Violations Such as Enforced Disappearances in Africa: Towards Developing Transitional Justice Strategies

The Role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Reducing Massive Human Rights Violations Such as Enforced Disappearances in Africa: Towards Developing Transitional Justice Strategies

By Jeremy Sarkin

Volume 11, Issue 1, pages 130-142

Introduction

Over the last two decades the human rights situation on the African continent has improved, albeit slowly and unevenly (Sarkin 2010). In July 2010 the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon observed in a report to the General Assembly that while fourteen African countries were engaged in armed conflict in the late 1990s, there were only four countries in a state of violent conflict at the time the report was presented (United Nations 2010). It was, however, found that in spite of the improvement ‘many States remain institutionally weak and severely challenged in their ability to promote security and prosperity for their peoples’ (ibid.:5). Amnesty International (2008) has noted that human rights violations continue to be a persistent problem in Africa; economic and social rights are illusory for millions of people; internal violent conflicts accompanied by gross human rights abuses including unlawful killings, torture, and rape are on-going in several countries; and some states do not tolerate dissent and many of them restrict freedom of expression or are reluctant to cooperate with international human rights institutions. […]

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